Thursday 7 Jun

England vs Costa Rica - Match Preview

06 Jun 2018 Ed Mackey INTERNATIONAL: Int. Friendly Games
INTERNATIONAL: Int. Friendly Games

England

  • D
  • D
  • W
  • D
  • W

vs

Kick-off
19:00 GMT
07 June 2018

Costa Rica

  • L
  • L
  • W
  • L
  • W

Kick-off
19:00 GMT 07 June 2018

The 2018 FIFA World Cup in Russia is within touching distance now, less than two weeks away. Warm-ups are well underway for the involved national sides and England’s second pre-tournament friendly takes place on Thursday as they welcome Costa Rica to Wembley.

STATS

  • England were one of just four unbeaten sides in the European section of qualifying as they breezed through Group B with very little competition. Their preparations for the World Cup have started in fine form as they beat Nigeria 2-1 at Wembley on Saturday after a brilliant first-half performance. England have scored more than one goal just once in their last seven games with two goalless draws coming in that time.
  • Costa Rica have also secured a place in Russia this summer, being placed in Group E alongside Brazil, Switzerland and Serbia. Only Mexico finished above them in CONCACAF qualifying as the Costa Ricans lost just twice. They won their warm-up match on Friday, putting three goals past Northern Ireland as well as keeping a clean sheet in a 3-0 victory.
  • Harry Kane was England’s leading scorer in qualifying with five goals and he will undoubtedly be their main man in Russia.
  • Marco Ureña was Costa Rica’s main source of goals in CONCACAF qualifying but with just three goals, they’ll need more at the World Cup.

HEAD TO HEAD

The two nations have met just once and that came at the last World Cup in Brazil in 2014. It was one of the most boring matches of the whole tournament as it ended goallessly. With it only being a friendly, especially so close to the World Cup, fireworks aren’t expected but it should be a good indicator of how both sides will set up in two weeks.

ENGLAND NEWS

Ahead of making the trip to Russia, Gareth Southgate has confirmed both Jack Butland and Trent Alexander-Arnold will start at Elland Road. Jamie Vardy is also expected to start the clash to provide another option for the Three Lions.

Latest matches: England

02.06.2018 Int. England Nigeria 2:1 W
27.03.2018 Int. England Italy 1:1 D
23.03.2018 Int. Netherlands England 0:1 W
14.11.2017 Int. England Brazil 0:0 D
10.11.2017 Int. England Germany 0:0 D

COSTA RICA NEWS

Keylor Navas is the most well-known name in the Costa Rican team and the Champions League winner should start while Fulham fans should remember Bryan Ruiz who will also feature on Thursday.

Latest matches: Costa Rica

03.06.2018 Int. Costa Rica Northern Ireland 3:0 W
27.03.2018 Int. Tunisia Costa Rica 1:0 L
23.03.2018 Int. Scotland Costa Rica 0:1 W
14.11.2017 Int. Hungary Costa Rica 1:0 L
11.11.2017 Int. Spain Costa Rica 5:0 L

SUMMARY

It’s no shock to see that England are favourites to win in their final game before they leave for the World Cup and anything other than a win could be disastrous so close to the tournament. Costa Rica performed well in Brazil four years ago so don’t write them off for an upset not only at Elland Road but also in Russia.

About the author - Ed Mackey

Experienced sports writer and huge Leicester City fan.

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